Greek Royal Family return to Greece, 1946

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Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent saw off her cousin, King George II of Greece, at Heathrow Airport in London on this day in 1946, as the King returned to Greece upon the Restoration of the Greek Monarchy. The Greek Royal Family had been forced into exile during the Nazi Invasion of Greece in 1941, being restored with a referendum that voted 68.4% in favour of the King’s return. The King returned to Athens to find the Royal Palace looted, the woods at the Tatoi Palace chopped down for fuel and corpses buried in shallow graves outside, and he had barely gotten things in order when he passed away the following April.

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Crown Prince Paul and Crown Princess Frederica joined King George for a Te Deum at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Athens, where they met their aunts, Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna, Princess Nicholas of Greece and Princess Alice of Greece, who had remained in Athens for the duration of the War. Later, the Royal Trio drove through the streets of Athens before appearing on the Balcony of the Royal Palace.

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